The Kings gave the Mighty Ducks shot after shot after shot to beat them Tuesday night, but the Ducks’ Bob Corkum gave it all back by giving the Kings a penalty shot with 1:07 left in regulation.
Dan Quinn was King Coach Barry Melrose’s choice to skate in alone on goalie Mikhail Shtalenkov for a dramatic last-ditch effort to tie the score after referee Dennis LaRue ruled Corkum deliberately dislodged the net with little more than a minute to play.
Quinn lifted a simple forehand that beat Shtalenkov high on the stick side as he went down. The King bench erupted as Quinn scored the goal that salvaged a 3-3 tie before 17,174 at The Pond of Anaheim, helping the Kings avoid what would have been a deflating defeat to the last-place Ducks, who had beaten the Kings three times in a row.
The Ducks managed the only official shot of the five-minute extra period, and finished the game with a 38-22 advantage after outshooting the Kings, 31-13, in the first two periods.
Melrose said he chose between Rick Tocchet and Quinn.
“Quinn’s good on breakaways,” Melrose said. “If he’d have missed, you guys would all be writing about who should have taken it.
“One point, again, is a lot better than nothing.”
Corkum didn’t want to talk about the play that cost his team a chance to win.
“I have nothing to say,” he said.
Duck Coach Ron Wilson had no complaints about the call.
“As soon as I saw the net go up, I was hoping that wasn’t (what had happened). I was hoping Dennis LaRue would make a mistake, but he didn’t.
“I was hoping that late in the game, with our ice, whoever took the shot wouldn’t be able to control the puck, but (Quinn) did the right thing. I wish I had told (Shtalenkov) to stay on his feet.”
The Kings had a 2-1 lead after two periods despite being badly outshot, and midway through the third period, they had stemmed the flow of shots to a trickle.
But Kelly Hrudey, who had stopped a barrage early, was caught on his knees twice in the third.
Duck rookie Paul Kariya had watched his idol Wayne Gretzky’s elegant passes for most of the game, then used his speed to create a chance for defenseman Bobby Dollas. Hrudey made the stop, but seconds later the puck came out to Kariya in the right circle and he lifted his shot high to beat Hrudey, who was still on his knees. Kariya’s goal tied the score, 2-2, at 10:10.
Barely a minute later, Kariya started the Ducks off again with a pass behind his back to Stephan Lebeau near the blue line. Lebeau skated in and took a shot, Hrudey went down, and Shaun Van Allen lifted the rebound for a 3-2 lead at 11:25.
The Kings fell behind 2:01 into the game when Duck rookie Steve Rucchin got the puck off the boards, held off a challenge and then passed to another rookie, Valeri Karpov, in front of the net. Karpov beat Hrudey for a 1-0 lead, scoring only his second goal of the season and his first since Jan. 27.
But the Kings tied the score at 8:07, breaking an 0-for-24 power-play streak on their first opportunity of the game after Garry Valk was sent off for roughing. The Ducks let Gretzky set up behind the net and he passed to Tony Granato, left alone in the slot. The goal was Granato’s ninth of the season.
The Ducks made the same mistake twice, allowing Gretzky too much time and space behind the net a second time, and he found defenseman Michel Petit in the right circle. Petit’s goal at 16:34 of the second gave the Kings a 2-1 lead.